Welcome to CAMRA West Kent

This website is for CAMRA members that have an interest in the West Kent Branch.

 

The branch area includes the towns of Edenbridge, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Westerham.


The easiest ways to help CAMRA West Kent?

The number 1, easiest, but most important thing that CAMRA members can do to help any branch is to enter pub and beer scores via WhatPub. If you enter scores for pubs that you try they will get fed back to the relevant branch, and will be used for deciding which pubs go in the Good Beer Guide. The menu on the left contains a guide to Beer Scoring, or follow the WhatPub link above to go direct. 

 

Branch Volunteering
We’d also like to recruit a branch ACV Officer to spearhead applications for Asset of Community Value status to threatened pubs in the branch and support local community groups in applying for ACVs.

In fact we really need more active, campaigning members on the branch committee to spread the workload generally. We’re all volunteers as you know, so if you want to be more involved let us know or come to our branch meetings and get involved.


News

WK CAMRA branch AGM

Saturday 21st April at the Tunbridge Wells Constitutional Club, 1 Sandrock Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 3PX. Meeting starts at 2pm, there will be a buffet, and then normal great beers at our branch Club Of the Year (COTY).

 

URGENT Call for Volunteers – CAMRA Tun Wells Cricket Tent
Many of you will be familiar with the CAMRA cricket tent, usually run by Gill and Gerry Keay from Canterbury branch. This year they’re unable to run it themselves, although they will be able to assist with planning and beer ordering. With the passage of time they may need to take more of a back seat anyway in future, so if we want this to continue the West Kent branch will need to take over the running

We need at least one volunteer to be the main organiser and we’ll need a good band of helpers to assist with the set-up, running and tear-down unless we are to lose this well-loved amenity at the Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week in the Nevill Ground. Remember the tent is run in aid of charity so we don’t want them to lose out either. This year its scheduled for June 20th-23rd. If you can volunteer, please reply by return email as we need to determine whether it will be viable to order the tent.
Please email campaign@camrawestkent.org.uk if you can spare some time.

Pub News

The Royal Oak, Crockham Hill will close from 15th April, hopefully for a short period while a new tenant is found
The Ivy House, Tonbridge is closed


Awards Season!!

With the launch of the Good Beer Guide the branch gets to hand out some awards to some of the hard working people in our branch pubs. Some of the most impressive awards go to pubs with many consecutive years in the GBG.

Pub of the Year 2018 goes to The George in Tunbridge Wells.
Manager Paul Fillis was delighted to receive the news from West Kent CAMRA Branch chairman, Craig Beeson. Paul recently hit the news thanks to the opening of a microbrewery in a downstairs room of the pub, where he doubles up as head brewer, producing small batch quantities of real ale to sell in the bar upstairs under the name Fonthill Brewing Company. At the moment the brewery is trying out a range of recipes and they seem to be receiving very favourable comments from customers. The pub has eight hand pumps, two of which are dedicated to real cider, whilst the other six offer a changing range of ales from far and wide.
Runners up were the Weald Windmill in Sevenoaks Weald and Fuggles Beer Cafe Tunbridge Wells, both themselves previous winners.

Cider Pub of the Year 2018 goes to The Pantiles Tap – Serious About Brilliant Beer, in the Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells for the third year running, thanks to its mighty “Great Wall of Cider” offering cider and perry from a wide range of producers.

West Kent Club of the Year 2018 goes once again to the Tunbridge Wells Constitutional Club, where club members and sometimes CAMRA members can enjoy a particularly tasty range of ales from four hand pumps, along with a friendly welcome of course.

 

We have also added a seasonal award for Most Highly Commended Pub. This will only be awarded when a pub has come on to our radar as being really worth a visit, the beer must be in top condition, but the management and staff are the real winners because of what they have achieved.

The first winner of this award is the Foresters Arms in Tonbridge WHATPUB LINK Congratulations to Tyson and his team on turning this pub around, its now a popular community pub, serving great beer (including a guest), and the pizzas are a hit as well.

 

The Greyhound Charcott was he 2nd winner of our pub of the season award. Fran and Richard have not only made the perfect pub, its there home as well. Its very unusual to see a pub get back on its feet as quickly as the Greyhound, and lets be honest its exceed all our expectations. Fantastic beer, matched with excellent food, possibly the best sausages around!! Make sure you also try the cheese from the farm just down the road.

Our branch is extremely grateful when members inform us of a pub that has really upped its game, beer scoring on https://whatpub.com/ is one way to keep us up to date, but social media or just having a chat with us is also greately appreciated. The Elm Tree in Paddock Wood https://whatpub.com/pubs/TTW/96/elm-tree-paddock-wood is one such pub, and we are over the moon when they were nominated for our seasonal award.

The Gatehouse in Tonbridge is another pub in Tonbridge  to be recognised for its beer range and quality. Many members are now including it in there nights out in the town, it has also hosted several meet the brewer events.

 

 

Grove Tavern Tunbridge Wells. 15 consecutive years in the GBG. WHATPUB LINK Congrats to CJ Baxter, Steve and the rest of the team. Tunbridge Wells has a massive variety of places to get a great pint of real ale, the Grove is always on my goto list 🙂

Dovecote Inn Capel. 20 years in the GBG!! WHATPUB LINK The Dovecote is one of my favourite pubs to walk out to from Tonbridge, and you have some great great real ale (on gravity) at your destination. Also renowned for its food.


CAMRA West Kent Facebook

Unable to display Facebook posts.
Show error

Error: Unsupported get request. Object with ID '134669526591' does not exist, cannot be loaded due to missing permissions, or does not support this operation. Please read the Graph API documentation at https://developers.facebook.com/docs/graph-api
Type: GraphMethodException
Code: 100
Subcode: 33
Please refer to our Error Message Reference.

Branch Diary
April

  • Community Pubs Month
  • 10th SVR Beer Festival Planning Meeting at the Royal Oak, TW. This year’s first meeting for all those involved or who would like to be involved 6pm.
  • 10th Presentation of PotY Award to the George, TW (after SVR meeting)
  • 21st Branch Annual General Meeting at the Tunbridge Wells Constitutional Club, 1 Sandrock Road, TW, TN2 3PX, 2pm, free buffet followed by pub crawl
  • 28th Visit to Old Dairy Brewery, Tenterden (rearranged from the originaly planned 3rd March trip that was cancelled due to bad weather) see above for booking

May

  • Mild Month
  • 14th Branch Business Meeting, Mount Edgecumbe, TW 8pm
  • Social at the British Legion Club, Leigh including cellar tour date tbc
  • 23rd Sevenoaks pub crawl starting at the Halfway House, 8pm
  • 27th Social at the Halfway House, Brenchley, 2pm for the Beer Festival


Events, Beer Festivals, etc.

  • Regular Event: Westerham Brewery Open Evenings 1st Thursday of each month. Next one 3rd May https://westerhambrewery.co.uk/events/#/all
  • Apr (all month) – the Anchor, Sevenoaks – Wantsum Tap Takeover at £3 a pint on all three pumps. The Anchor also has a loyalty scheme – collect 8 stamps to claim a free pint and it has regular live music gigs
  • 12th Apr – The Sennockian, Sevenoaks – Westerham Brewery Experimental Hop Tasting with Robert Wicks, showcasing five new experimental hop varieties in a range of specially brewed single hop beers. A number of other Westerham beers available, a prize draw to win a case of beer and a charity raffle. It’s also Curry Club on Thursday and all Westerham Beers will be included in The Curry Club meal deal.
  • 13th – 15th Apr – The Bell & Jorrocks, Frittenden – 12th Annual Beer Festival, 24 ales and ciders, live music, 5-7pm pizza 01580 852415
  • 19th – 22nd Apr – Orpington Liberal Club – Spring Beer Festival, 18+ beers, 8 ciders/perrys + craft. Thurs is preview day for club members + CAMRA members, Hot food Sat + mummers play evening. Tickets £6.60 over bar £7 online (includes 2 pints) from http://orpingtonliberalclub.co.uk/beer-and-cider-festival/
    Volunteers needed, sign up here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GY96SNX
  • 20th – 22nd Apr – The Knoxbridge, Cranbook Road A229, Frittenden, TN17 2BT – St George’s Beer Festival & Military Vehicle Show, 16 ales and ciders, live music, BBQ, hog roast www.theknoxbridge.co.uk 
  • 20th – 23rd Apr – Little Brown Jug, Chiddingstone Causeway – St. George’s Beer Festival
  • 3rd May – The Humphrey Bean, Tonbridge – Meet the Brewer with Firebird Brewing Co, tickets £10 (includes sausage & mash or veg option, souvenir glass, 20% off FB beer, entry into competition to win brewery trip tickets worth £50)
  • 3rd May – Fuggles, TONBRIDGE – Moor Beer Tap Takeover & Meet the Brewer, unfined, vegan friendly beers
  • 3rd – 5th May – 13th Bexley Beer Festival www.bexley.camra.org.uk
  • 4th – 6th May – The Old Fire Station, Tonbridge – Beer Festival, featuring 8 Kent breweries within 20 miles, no tickets needed
  • 12th May – Kissingate Brewery, Lower Beeding – Spring Beerfest 11-8 www.kissingate.co.uk
  • 24th – 27th May – The Old Fire Station, Tonbridge – Cider Festival, over 30 ciders, no tickets needed
  • 25th – 27th May – Eastbourne Beer & Cider By The Sea www.eastbournebeerfestival.co.uk
  • 25th – 28th May – Halfway House, Brenchley – Beer Festival, 80 beers from within 80 miles, live music https://www.halfwayhousebrenchley.co.uk/reg
  • 9th June – The Beer Barn at Rockin Robin Brewery, Loose – Beer & Gin Festival, live music, BBQ, cider, prosecco and wine, free entry 2-8pm
  • 15th June – Beer Day Britain www.beerdaybritain.co.uk
  • 15th – 16th June – CAMRA Kent & E Sussex Railway Beer Festival, Tenterden www.camra-afrm.org.uk
  • 20th – 23rd June – CAMRA tent at TW Cricket Week, County Championship Kent vs Warwickshire
  • 22nd – 23rd June – South Downs Beer & Cider Festival, Lewes www.brightoncamra.org.uk
  • 6th – 7th July – SIBA South East/Tonbridge Juddians RFC Beer Festival
  • 19th – 21st July – 44th Kent CAMRA Beer & Cider Festival, Canterbury Rugby Club www.kentbeerfestival.com
  • 20th – 22nd July – Mark Cross Inn, Mark Cross – Food & Beer Festival
  • 7th – 11th Aug – Great British Beer Festival
  • 24th – 27th Aug – Halfway House, Brenchley – Beer Festival, 60 national and local ales https://www.halfwayhousebrenchley.co.uk/reg
  • 26th Aug – Warman Beer Festival, Warman Sports Trust, Barnet Wood Road, Bromley, BR2 7AA, 12-12
  • 1st Sept – CAMRA East Malling Beer Festival run by MMK branch
  • 20th – 30th Sept – Cask Ale Week

 


Protecting your local pub by nominating them as Assets of Community Value

Through the Localism Act, the Government has introduced new powers for communities in England to nominate valued facilities such as pubs as “assets of community value”. Where pubs are listed this enables communities to “stop the clock” for up to six months if they’re put up for sale to consider options for saving the pub. With 18 pubs closing every week we need CAMRA members and branches to get involved in listing pubs before more of them are lost. So far two pubs in the branch have received this protection (both called the Royal Oak, one in Tunbridge Wells, one in Pembury). For a more in depth explanation of the what, why, and where please follow this LINK, which also contains an information leaflet.